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Exclusive: Willmott Dixon considers residential arm IPO

Willmott Dixon is set to float its newly formed residential business, Construction News has learned.

An IPO is understood to be the preferred option for the business, which was launched earlier this month following the merger of two divisions.

A flotation would allow Willmott Dixon to raise capital and significantly grow its residential arm. 

The firm has not ruled out a sale of the business, with a decision expected before the end of the year.

A Willmott Dixon spokesman said: “There are options available to us to look at how we capitalise the business. We haven’t chosen any one option.”

Willmott Residential is made up of three previously independent divisions.

Development companies Prime Place, which builds homes for sale, and be:here, its private rented business, both have a strong footing in the housing market, with around 5,000 units on site or in planning.

They are involved in major schemes including the 1,176-home regeneration of Aberfeldy Village in Tower Hamlets, as well as being Brentford FC’s development partner for its 20,000-seater stadium revamp and 900-home masterplan (pictured).

The third arm, Willmott Partnerships Homes, builds around 2,000 homes a year, working with housing associations, local authorities and private sector clients.

The company has hired former Berkeley Group director Nick Simpkin to lead Willmott Residential, with Willmott Regen divisional chief executive Andrew Telfer becoming deputy chief executive.

Willmott Dixon is also continuing negotiations over the sale of its support services division, which is made up of Willmott Dixon Partnerships and Energy Services.

The firm is in talks with more than one buyer, with a decision on its future expected in the next two months.

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